Meet at the Paris hotel chosen by the group and transfer to the rail station for the TGV high-speed train to Béziers. Join 'Alouette' for a welcome reception and a cruise to the pretty village of Colombières, followed by a first gourmet dinner on board.
Visit l’Abbaye de Fontfroide, an 11th-century Cistercian monastery, lovingly restored with a well-kept garden and peaceful cloister. After lunch, cruise to Capestang.
Cruise to Le Somail, one of the prettiest moorings along the canal, home to an array of local artists. After lunch on board the barge, visit an olive mill to uncover the secrets of olive oil production during a private presentation and tasting.
Experience the wonderful covered market in Narbonne, a lively Mediterranean city and important center of wine production. Enjoy lunch at a local bistro near the market before returning to your barge for a leisurely afternoon cruise to Homps.
After breakfast, visit Minerve, an old village on a limestone cliff that dominates the vineyards below. The ruined castle, once a Cathar stronghold, was besieged and captured by Simon de Montfort in 1210. Return to 'Alouette' for a cruise to the pretty town of Trèbes where dinner is at a local restaurant.
Explore Carcassonne, Europe’s largest medieval fortress town, admiring the intricate fortifications. The cathedral here is remarkable for its stained-glass windows, fine statues and elegant transepts. Back on board the barge this evening, enjoy a memorable farewell dinner.
After breakfast, transfer to Carcassonne for the TGV high-speed train to Paris, where your journey ends on arrival.
Route runs in reverse on alternate weeks and may differ on selected cruise dates.